This is the first in a series of four papers related to the management of root canal treated teeth. When teeth compromised by extensive restorations become non-vital, suggestions have been given as to how root canal treatment can be carried out with the greatest chance of success. Once root canal treated, either by a previous dentist or by the current dentist, a review of the assessment process that should be carried out prior to placing costly indirect definitive restorations is given. It will be clear that post-retained restorations are mainly reserved for anterior or single-rooted teeth, posterior teeth rarely requiring a post for core retention. The second paper in this series describes the basic tooth preparation that should be carried out prior to placing a post. Depending on the type of post system used, further modifications to tooth preparation may be required and the cementation techniques may also have to be modified. The third paper therefore discusses the various post types, when and how they should be used for optimum results. The final paper addresses reinforcement and restoration of compromised root canals, such as those with immature, open apices, or those that have been over-prepared for previous post-retained restorations.